Examination of Witnesses (Question Numbers
27 JANUARY 2009
Q260 Chairman: So Government may
ask you to do more to tackle knife crime, but they have got to
pay, have they not, because you will have enormous resource implications
if you took on these responsibilities without the funding?
Dr Creasy: Absolutely, and we
have a real challenge. One of the concerns we have and why I wanted
to come and address this Committee is that we think it is fantastic
that people are looking to youth-led organisations like the Scouts
and asking if they could play a role in promoting positive behaviour,
but it is understanding that our challenge is not having young
people who want to come and join, it is the adult volunteers,
it is the capacity to be able to substantially involve more young
people that we have a problem with. Part of that is about funding,
absolutely. The Essex experience project I talked about costs
us about £70,000 a year to fund because the entire thing
is free for the young people who take part. It is one of the ways
we make sure it is accessible. We have a series of local development
officers who support our volunteers within the community and who
help people with finding ways of fitting people into volunteering.
That is clearly a resource where if we could expand it we could
work with more young people.
Q261 Chairman: You seem to have this
fabulous record. You have got 400,000 young people aged between
six and 25 and 100,000 voluntary adult leaders, with 15,000 joining
in 2008 and not a knife in sight.
Dr Creasy: Our numbers are likely
to go up again this year as well, yes.
Q262 Chairman: But you cannot find
a single knife?
Dr Creasy: Are you asking us whether
we have people who have committed knife crime within The Scout
Q263 Chairman: No. I am saying none
of you can come to us with any anecdotal evidence to suggest to
us that there is a problem with knife crime among any of these
400,000 young people.
Dr Creasy: What we can come to
you with is evidence that there are young people involved in scouting,
because scouting reflects young people as a whole within the UK
Q264 Chairman: That is not a trick
question. That is recognition of what you have achieved.
Dr Creasy: We have young people
who have specialist needs and we have young people who have difficult
Q265 Chairman: It is a very, very
good record. Dr Creasy, Mr Reid, Ms Ibrahim, thank you so much
for coming in to give evidence to us. It may well be that we will
write to you again before the inquiry is concluded to ask for
more evidence or some of our Members might want to come and revisit
their old Scout troop to see how it has changed.
Dr Creasy: Please go and visit
your local groups because scouting really has changed in the last
20 years. We think it is really important for people to come and
see it now as opposed to perhaps what the perception might be,
and you will be very welcome.
Chairman: Indeed. Thank you very much.